A note on: being in a Feral Concord

By far the least experienced vocalist in the circle, I was so happy to be so. To be asked by Phil Minton, one of the world’s foremost improvised vocalists and a kindly golden ghidora of the avant garde music world, to be one of a dozen artists involved in a Feral Concord, that is an entirely improvised choral performance at Cafe Oto, meant a great deal to me. I have a toe in many pools, so naturally I’m ankle deep in none. I am therefore often at a remove, which is a grand thing most of the time, but also cautious, in this case, to not be the chimp whistling when others are singing or singing when others are whistling. In the group were friends like Dylan Nyoukis but also many others I had not met but whose work I knew and very much admired.

The actual experience was profound. It’s hard to describe. I was struck this time, during our 30 minute performance, just how remarkable it is to communicate with others so directly, following as the piece varies and alters and shifts like fish in the ocean, without any language or movement being the thing that makes the moves. A friend in attendance described it as a solemn seance that made everyone else not move.

Published: an interview with HIPOGLOTE

This was really fun, i had a blast chatting with portuguese sound poetry achivers / activists / investigators tiago swabl and nuno nevers who have been part of the Hipoglote interview series for 87 issues, up to mine. Everytime I get asked to mark my contribution to sound poetry is feels special, as I do feel a sense of great respect for those who created and lead the practise, it's always something on the frontline, and to be a little part of it, and to be recognised as such in europe, means something special

Nuno and Tiago have created a great route in to discussing sonic and sound poetry, with some brilliant conversations in the past. we got on like a house on fire, really a privilege to be part of the project for me, we chatted about loads of stuff, and they seemed to enjoy my notion that sound poetry is what we do the moment we are born and in the last moments before we die

listen in here https://www.mixcloud.com/Hipoglote/87o-hipoglote_2018-06-18_interview_-steven-j-fowler/

EPF2018 #5: European Poetry Festival celebrates Sound & Performance at Iklectic Artlab

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An extraordinary venue and a grand night of innovative live poetry, from the sonic to the electronic to the vocal to the conceptual. Eduard and the team (including Tony the Cat) at IKLECTIK are doing an amazing job and were so hospitable, we really felt like we were in someone’s beautiful living room. The place was nicely full, a good 70 people sat in to watch a real range of works. It was the first time I got to put on poets I’ve admired for years like Rike Scheffler from Berlin, Sergej Timofejev from Riga, and it was great to have back on in London poets like Robert Prosser from Vienna and Kinga Toth from Budapest. Range was the key element here, again, and the works complimented each other. It was a little nubache for me to run all the tech from my laptop while also filming but worth it, this movement of poets across Europe worrying about liveness and sound and time needed to be acknowledged in its own space and place.

See videos of every performance on the night and pictures too at www.europeanpoetryfestival.com/performance

A note on: the last soundings, performing with the great Phil Minton

An amazing privilege it was to perform an improvised vocal work with Phil Minton last October at Kings Place in London. The video of that work is now public, beautifully shot by Ed Prosser.

For over fifty years Phil Minton has been performing, singing, vocalising around the world. He absolutely has shaped, even defined, free vocalisation and improvised sound poetry since WWII. To get to work with him for the first time, with no prior preparation, no conversation about what we'd do before the performance even, was such an honour, and beautiful / terrifying in equal measure. So important for me to feel I'm crossing over with the greats of previous generations

A note on: performing with Phil Minton

An amazing privilege to perform an improvised sound poetry piece with the legendary Phil Minton on October Friday 7th 2016 at Kings Place, London.

For over fifty years Phil Minton has been performing, singing, vocalising around the world. He absolutely has shaped, even defined, free vocalisation and improvised sound poetry since WWII. To get to work with him for the first time, with no prior preparation, no conversation about what we'd do before the performance even, was such an honour, and beautiful / terrifying in equal measure. So important for me to feel I'm crossing over with the greats of previous generations. This was a real landmark for me. There's more pictures like this beautiful pair below by Ed Prosser on www.stevenjfowler.com/soundings

A great night overall too, closing out the Hubbub residency in a sense, with some fine work from James Wilkes, Emma Bennett, Phaedra ensemble and others making it a varied and intense evening of performance.

 

A note on: Lunalia: a lunar sound project with Maja Jantar

One of the most comprehensive sound collaborations I've ever undertaken. One month of recordings, an entire lunar cycle, Maja Jantar and I exchanged sonic responses to the moon over the summer, including poem, songs, found recordings, mixed for publication. I was the 11th collaborator in Maja’s remarkable series. This was a brilliant, often intense process, another lovely moment in a series of works I’ve had the pleasure to collaborate on with Maja. And as before, I learned an extraordinary amount working with her, with her in my mind as I tried to keep up to the daily recording schedule. I’m proud of the result, it’s extensive, a real record of a time in my life.

All 30 files with adjoining blogs are available http://www.stevenjfowler.com/lunalia

Week One

August 18th: Worm-moon Wormwood Scrubs is a place most in London would associate with its adjacent prison. Outside of London it’s hardly known. It’s where I go to exercise, often at night, especially in the summer. It’s totally dark, surrounded by a belt of light, and the industrial trains entering and exiting Willesden Junction. From the middle of the scrubs I can see the moon, first 2/3 blood moon, and by the end of my exercise, the full red moon. I took the recorder to the middle of the open expanse of grass, empty of people aside from the odd dog walker emerging from the darkness and let my exhausted breathing ebb as I watched up. By complete chance, a genuine coincidence, earlier in the day, someone had said to me that I should watch for the super moon that night, that the celts called it the Dispute Moon, others the Hunger Moon, Corn Moon and Wolf Moon....

A note on: Soundings #6 with Sharon Gal

The Soundings project comes to an end for the time being this October with the 7th instalment and the end of the Hubbub residency and I've had an extraordinary time collaborating with 6 artists so far, the latest being Sharon Gal, a major figure on the London experimental music scene since the late 80s.

This is a work I'm very proud of. Sharon's work has been a real influence on me, so it was brilliant to work so closely with her developing a series of performances, embedded in some unusual and industrial / suburban hidden spots of west london, for film. Again working with Ed Prosser, who has filmed most of soundings to great effect, we spent a brilliant day roaming from Kilburn to Kensal, along the grand union canal and into wormwood scrubs, playing with soundscapes, found sounds and instruments. We utilised the possibilities of film, performing in scenes of a sort, to create something original in the edit. Such a privilege to have this opportunity, and once again responding to materials given by Wellcome Library in response to prompts given by Hubbub curators.

A note on: filming Soundings #6 with Sharon Gal

The Soundings project comes to an end for the time being this October with the 7th instalment and the end of the Hubbub residency and I've had an extraordinary time collaborating with 6 artists so far, the latest being Sharon Gal, a major figure on the London experimental music scene since the late 80s. Sharon's work has been a real influence on me, so it was brilliant to work so closely with her developing a series of performances, embedded in some unusual and industrial / suburban hidden spots of west london, for film. Again working with Ed Prosser, who has filmed most of soundings to great effect, we spent a brilliant day roaming from Kilburn to Kensal, along the grand union canal and into wormwood scrubs, playing with soundscapes, found sounds and instruments. We utilised the possibilities of film, performing in scenes of a sort, to create something original in the edit. Such a privilege to have this opportunity, and once again responding to materials given by Wellcome Library in response to prompts given by Hubbub curators.

A note on: Praxis at Parasol Unit - collaborating with Maja Jantar: July 15th

One of the most generous and definitive collaborative relationships that I have, working with Maja Jantar. She's so brilliant, and such a pleasure to work with, this collaboration, so full of play, of song, of physicality and intensity, really is the kind of work I want to do. Really great to do it with such a lovely audience at Parasol Unit and with the curatorial support of Simon Pomery and Lala Thorpe. A memorable experience.

A note on: Praxis 3 performing with Maja Jantar - July 15th Parasol Unit

PRAXIS 3 - Áine O'Dwyer, Maja Jantar & Steven J Fowler (duo), Cali Dux (Moot Press) Friday 15th of July, at Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, 14 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW
Third instalment o ivativ poetry serie, part of RH Poetics Research Centr
7.30 pm ∙ £5 suggested donation ∙ Booking require Please email: lala@parasol-unit.org

PRAXIS is an innovative live poetry series that seeks to bring experimental, digital, sound and visual poetry to the Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, inviting artists to perform original works and to collaborate in response to exhibitions at Parasol. This new series of workshops and events is curated by Simon Pomery and Lala Thorpe in association with the Royal Holloway Poetics Research Centre.

 

    A note on: Kakania Berlin – May 9th at Österreichisches Kulturforum

    A wonderful thing to be able to travel to curate something, to be able to leave my home and bring together artists who genuinely excite me, in Berlin. A chance to watch people who offer permission to push boundaries and to learn. Thanks to the generosity of the Österreichisches Kulturforum, I was able to put together a Kakania project in Berlin. I brought together 5 artists from across Europe and each presented a new work responding to a figure of the Habsburg Era, 100 years ago or so. We were in the grand performance space of the Österreichisches Kulturforum itself, just off Tiergarten, an imposing curved hall with giant curtains and high ceilings. The Österreichisches Kulturforum couldn’t have been easier to work with and the performances on the night had some real highlights, definitively making an impact on the audience with some of the best sound poets in the world interspersed with conceptual text performances. There was a really dynamic energy to the evening and a clear enthusiasm and intensity, as I’ve often felt in Berlin. Just great to spend time around so many artists I admire under such professional conditions, and to visit Berlin again, having time to bop down Kurfürstenstraße with old friends.

    A note on: performance videos from Soundings I & III, with Emma Bennett and Maja Jantar

    Two highlights of 2015, amazing performers and artists both Emma and Maja. So excited I get to do 7 more of these collaborations in 2016 with the help of the Hubbub group in residence at Wellcome Collection and Wellcome Library www.stevenfowler.com/soundings

    Published: a Tapin2 Playlist. Why I record events/performances & 13 highlights from the last year

    Tapin2 is a brilliant journal, a hub for the European sound poetry scene I've been so pleased to be a part of over the last few years and edited scrupulously by Julien D'Abrigeon. Julien kindly asked me to put together a playlist from my youtube channel, covering the last year with a series of highlighted performances and why I keep such a resource the way I do. http://www.tapin2.org/playlist-5-sj-fowler

    There are three ways to consider the lack of documentation that’s apparent for much of Britain’s post-war avant garde poetry and performance art scene. The first, it is a deliberate gesture, that the works were meant to be ephemeral, only existing once. Second, that technology was prohibitive, ie camera’s weren’t easily available. Third, that people didn’t consider it. The first I respect but obviously don’t personally subscribe to. The second no longer exists. The third is a crime. So it was for me, discovering so many reports, whispers of works from the modern avant-garde, when I started to organise projects and events, knowing if I were able to watch them, to study them, that my own work would grow and become infused with those who came before. So I decided to setup a youtube channel and record every reading and performance I commissioned / witnessed / participated in. Four years later the channel hosts nearly 1400 artworks and performances. I hope people use it as a resource and it’s true value is in the future, as well as the now. It’s worth noting that much of what I commission with the Enemies project is about collaboration, and that this playlist is a highlight of videos captured in the last year, from November 2014 to November 2015, and that there’s much much more in the archive.fowlerpoetry sur Youtube

    The videos include performances from my events and my own work, from all over Europe.

    A note on: Globe Road Festival Walking Tour - November 15th 2015

    A really open, generous, honest and fascinating morning, walking the length of Globe road in East London, from Mile End Road to Bethnal Green. I was so pleased to be leading the walking tour for the Globe Road Festival with Gareth Evans, Elaine Mitchener, Adam Bohman as the commissioned artists, each presenting extraordinary and varied works, from Adam's hand written scores of found language, to Gareth's lyrical poem, to Elaine's heartfelt conceptual poem, read just a stone's throw from her childhood home. The many people in tow, kindly sharing their morning with us, followed on into York Hall, for a small reading kindly arranged by Jonathan Mann, where Richard Scott and Stephen Watts also read. You can find out all the details and watch all the performances here http://www.theenemiesproject.com/globeroad 

    "A unique live walking tour performance experience, as part of the Globe Road Festival, the Enemies project presents a stroll down Globe Road itself, in the company of poets, sound artists and vanguardists. Stopping four times, at designated places on Globe Road, the artists will present a talk or performance completely original to the walk, in response to Globe Road. With their own lives entwined to the history and culture of this stretch of East London, this will be an original outdoor insight into the most interesting and often underground avant garde artists of contemporary London."

    Upcoming: Four events - aWwW / EVP / Globe Road / Soundings

    Nov 13th: A World Without Words IV
    Nov 14th: Electronic Voice Phenomena
    Nov 15th: Globe Road Festival Walking Tour
    Nov 18th: Soundings III

    November Friday 13th - A World without Words IV at the Frontline Club: 7pm
    The fourth event in the series exploring neuroscience, aphasia, the brain and language, this time at the incredible Frontline Club. With a talk by Professor Barry Smith and the screening of a series of anthropological short films from Vincent Moon. Curated by Lotje Sodderland, Thomas Duggan and I. http://www.frontlineclub.com/screening-and-discussion-a-world-without-words/

    November Saturday 14th - EVP Sessions at Shoreditch Town Hall: 8pm
    Electronic Voice Phenomena hits London once again, I'll be presenting a new commission in full skeleton embodiment, exploring disembodied voice and death http://shoreditchtownhall.com/theatre-performance/whats-on/event/theEVPsessions

    November Sunday 15th - Globe Road walking tour for the Globe Road Festival: 11am
    A Sunday morning stroll up Globe Road in the company of Gareth Evans, Elaine Mitchener and the Bohman brothers, all of whom will present brand new performance commissions related to the road itself, finishing with a reading in York Hall with Stephen Watts, Richard Scott and Jonathan Mann www.theenemiesproject.com/globeroad

    November Wednesday 18th - Soundings III with Maja Jantar at St Johns on Bethnal Green: 7pm A collaboration with the incomparable Maja Jantar for a new sound poetry / avant-garde music performance as part of the Soundings project with Hubbub at Wellcome Collection responding to prompts from the Wellcome Library. St Johns on Bethnal Green, an early 19th-century church, is an amazing venue too. www.stevenjfowler.com/soundings

    Upcoming: a language art - a course at Tate Modern

    A Language Art: a course at Tate Modern

    Avant-garde Poetry & Modern Art, in the galleries

    Mondays, 26 October – 30 November 2015, 18.45–20.45,
    session on Monday 9th November at Tate Britain
    £150, concessions available

    Book online using this link: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/courses-and-workshops/language-art-avant-garde-poetry-and-modern-art

    I'm delighted to be leading a course for Tate Modern this winter, where over six weeks, we will explore the intersections between the post-war traditions of modern art and avant-garde poetry.

    Discovering poets and artists from the Tate collection who make use of language, sound, space, printing and writing, this course reveals how these practises are fundamental to both arts. A detailed course breakdown is available here: http://www.stevenjfowler.com/alanguageart/

    Sessions are based within the galleries of Tate Modern in the presence of works by Gerhard Richter, Li Yuan-Chia and RB Kitaj amongst others, which bring to light some of the great moments in modern art and poetry that have enriched the traditions of both writing and art-making. Each week participants are also introduced to contemporary examples of work inspired by those held in the Tate Collection, as well as encouraged to create and share their own avant-garde poetry and text art in the extraordinary environment of the museum. One session is held at Tate Britain and includes the chance to explore Tate’s Prints and Drawings Rooms.

    This course is for people interested in developing their own skills and understanding of experimental poetry and modern and contemporary art practises, and the onus of the course is on how these great moments in modern art and poetry can enrich writing and art-making practise, rather than dense historical analysis. It’s a rare chance to excavate avant- garde poetry in such a setting, and each week participants will have the chance to create new works in the extraordinary environment of the Tate Modern’s galleries.